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Old 18th June 2010, 16:53   #46
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You are probably right that it may look prettier without the covers. I guess I put them on because I had ordered them They will balance out aesthetically once the tan canvas top is in place, that will deifinitely enhance the look in terms of visual balance
Even with the Canvas top the car with the spare wheel covers off will look much better. The other thing is the Left side spare wheel need to be mouted straight like the one on the right side. Apart from that could you please put some pics of the dash board , meters , door pads and engine after restoration. Apart from that are you going for a Beige canvas top ?
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Old 18th June 2010, 17:04   #47
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When we took the rexine upholstery out I was amazed to discover the original leather inside. They had simply stitched a rexine cover over the original upholstery.

Quite obviously if the car came in leather it had to get new leather. And it was leather throughout. Even the door pads, and firewall with side foot well pads were leather covered.

I decided to go whole hog !! And my obvious choice was Stanley as I have a lot of regard for their workmanship.

So a telephone call later to the owner from my boss technicians were sent to Hyderabad to take all the samples to Bangalore for the stitching.

Deciding on the leather was not easy. The original shade was simply not available in the present selection. Further modern leather finishes are the matt textured finish and I simply couldn't accept that. I spoke with Stanley and asked them to give me samples of furniture leather with the classic finish. Given the car won't be used as a daily driver we reckoned opting for the furniture grade would make more sense as aesthetically it looks more authentic.

There were two shades, the one I chose and a darker shade. Interestingly my first choice was the darker shade as it was very sober. This looked a bit garish in a A4 size sample.

But something within kept urging me to rethink the choice. I had a long session with half a dozen of my colleagues for opinions. I was now hell bent on going for the bolder look as the darker shade would have looked too drab.

The upholstery of a car should lift the entire appeal, not tone it down. But there are risks. With the possibility of a striking interior you also risk a total diasaster.

More than half the team opted for the darker shade. A few said the bolder colour would look hot when completely done. I kept arguing for the bolder colour. After some 30 minutes of discussions half the team agreed the bolder would look absolutely fabulous. The decision was taken and Stanley asked to complete the upholstery

Then came the issue of the carpet. There was some original carpet left on the kick pad on the front seat back (in the rear compartment). It was a striking brick red. I froze at the thought of a bold leather with brick red carpet. Was I going crazy? I visualised my boss's expression of horror if it all went wrong.

I called up Manvendra bhai to consult him and asked how on earth a brick red carpet could have been used in 1933. I was relieved to get an instant affirmation that it was commonplace to use that colour. Once again a decision was taken to go brick red as per the original shade. Bangalore didn't have the right colour. So I sent our purchase guy out in the local market and voila brick red we found !

The real revelation was when the seats arrived. I was stunned to find how beautiful the leather looked. You can never decide on upholstery unless you look at large spans. I heaved a huge sigh of relief. I was actually excited that the bolder leather was a total success. The uphostery was going to look smashing !

Here you can see the original leather in place as the rexine came off

Restoring a 1933 Chevrolet Master Phaeton-img_0622.jpg

the entire front seat back in original leather, notice the kick pad

Restoring a 1933 Chevrolet Master Phaeton-picture-144.jpg

the seats arrive

Restoring a 1933 Chevrolet Master Phaeton-img_0615.jpg

the technicians from Stanley at work

Restoring a 1933 Chevrolet Master Phaeton-img_0623.jpg

Restoring a 1933 Chevrolet Master Phaeton-img_0624.jpg

Restoring a 1933 Chevrolet Master Phaeton-img_0625.jpg

Restoring a 1933 Chevrolet Master Phaeton-img_0626.jpg

the upholstery completed

Restoring a 1933 Chevrolet Master Phaeton-005.jpg

Restoring a 1933 Chevrolet Master Phaeton-009.jpg

Restoring a 1933 Chevrolet Master Phaeton-010.jpg
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Old 18th June 2010, 17:19   #48
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The other thing is the Left side spare wheel need to be mouted straight like the one on the right side
I had personally aligned the right wheel and left the other to be done later. I guess the guys haven't done it. Will align the left one too. Actually there are tiny things that still need to be looked into. Like fender brackets need to be set so the arches come down the same both sides. Minor stuff but we'll get things done as we still have time till the wooden bows arrive.

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Apart from that are you going for a Beige canvas top ?[/
Yes its sand on tan. Interestingly Eric Haartz realising I was being very particular about the authenticity of the shade and texture actually recommended a competitor brand saying I will be happy with the results. Just look at these guys ! They'll lose a sale just so they win a customer's goodwill for next time. I really appreciated that advice.
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Old 18th June 2010, 17:26   #49
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bottle, SPIKE ARRESTOR, SuperSelect, simply_sunny thank you all for your kind words of appreciation. I am glad you guys are enjoying viewing the work that went into this car
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Old 18th June 2010, 18:05   #50
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that's quite an effort. the interiors are really looking great. especially those chunky seats..
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Old 18th June 2010, 19:38   #51
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A lot of people here have told how lucky you are to have the facility like that, access to the best workshop, having such wonderful boss, and so on. I would say how lucky the car is for having gotten a re-birth from you. Restoring a car like this is not an easy job and I feel the car is damn lucky for for having fallen in your hands...

Amazing work done Sir and thanks a lot for sharing such wonderful restorations with us.

Regards,
-Nidhi
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Old 18th June 2010, 19:41   #52
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Hi DKG,

Great amazing restoration work, I enjoyed every details of your work. Your Packard restoration and this Chevy restoration were great learning experience for all vintage car enthusiast like me. Would like to hear more about the problems you faced specially about engine, pistons, piston rods, sleeving etc. Also any parts you need to fabricate which is not available.
Still the top work is left I think, would like to hear how much expenses incurred so far just to know when we do restoration of our own cars.

-Mechanical work
-Body work, paint
-Upholstery, leather
-Engine tuning, rebuilding etc.

I hope owners overwhelm with such beautiful restoration work, keep coming more information.

Thanks & regards,
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Old 18th June 2010, 20:26   #53
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DKG Sir,

Hats off to you....very good lesson to all of us. This shows how one's car to be restored.

One question - Whether the original dash comes in this pattern?

Cheers
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Old 18th June 2010, 22:52   #54
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Originally Posted by girishpv View Post
Whether the original dash comes in this pattern?
I can't remember where I read it, maybe its in the parts manual or somewhere that the dash did have woodgraining. I honestly don't know what pattern would have been original.

Given the design of the dash stamping I have assumed the woodgraining is in the three panels. Unfortunately there are hardly any pictures of similar cars to compare notes with. The choices in the stickers was limited and only because the others looked too drab I opted for this one. I really don't know what kind of wood would have been copied. Perhaps oak as the top bows are oak?

Its very simple to undo this if I find out more about the original finishes. Only catch is the car will be back in its home in Chennai so may be a year or two down the line we could update the car with correct finishes if I find out more.

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Originally Posted by vintagepoint5 View Post
Would like to hear more about the problems you faced specially about engine, pistons, piston rods, sleeving etc.
Considering the engine was getting brand new parts this aspect wasn't much of a headache. We just had to be meticulous when assembling, that's all.

You see its really quite simple when it comes to machinery. There are no shortcuts and no compromises. You cut corners and the engine will get compromised somewhere. Things like taking care to check threads in block for studs is the kind of stuff you thank yourself for noting when you tighten the head. One slipup such as this means you slip a head bolt when you are finishing the engine. The list is endless. At every step you have to ask, what is the component's function and is it up to performing as per the design spec? If not simply spend time correcting it.

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Also any parts you need to fabricate which is not available.
A lot of small pins were redone at local machine shops. There were primarily in the brake system and wheel hubs. I was very clear that the slightest of play in a pin translates into ineffective pedal effort. The end result justifies such care. Everything feels so much more crisp and tight. New pins for the leafspring shackles were made too. These are interesting as the bush in the rear spring eyelet works on a thread on the pin and has a lateral movement. I guess that's some engineering aspect of suspension design.


Quote:
Still the top work is left I think
Yes the top material is here with me. New oak bows have already been crafted in the US and will get shipped soon. Once they are here I will assemble them to the metal top frames and tailor stitch the top for, hopefully a smart perfect fit. Like a savile row suit

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would like to hear how much expenses incurred so far just to know when we do restoration of our own cars.
Restorations of this nature are expensive. Depending on the car I would say upwards of 10 lakhs. Please remember this was a zero compromise restoration. There are a few things I would still have prefered to sort out but even the US doesn't have the right parts. I will have to over the years buy used items and recondition.

Having done this car I am even more certain than before that there is no other way to do a car than to go through with a fine toothed comb. Vintage cars have wear and tear in practically every part. Its a mammoth exercise to address all the wear and tear like we have on this car.


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I hope owners overwhelm with such beautiful restoration work, keep coming more information.
I'm sure for the TVS family members more than anything its a wonderful testimony to the talent and capability of their staff in workshops. The effect on the self esteem of guys who worked on this car is amazing. Post this experience I find them more confident, and more respected amongst their peers.

I drove them very hard too. I had set very very high standards for us to achieve. BTW I am aware of a 101 flaws which I would have loved to excel at correcting. Its a tough call to get a 100% perfect finish. The people you work with will limit you.

Interestingly my boss always tells me that its not about getting a worker to do 100%. That ls close to impossible to expect realistically. He always maintains that if workers deliver even 60% of that pinnacle in achievement its a remarkable achievement. I agree with him

This whole exercise was about people, passion, working together, solving problems and accomplishing something as a team.

There were times when my staff were totally bewildered by challenges. At such times they saw their boss stepping in to solve the problem himself. Its the most remarkable experience for a worker, to be shown the way out and actually have someone hold their hand when they falter.

So the most important aspect of doing up MDR 200 is for me a childhood dream come true of someday dismantling a car completely and restoring it meticulously, obviously to the best of my talent and abilities, and making it all happen as a team. The three main guys who worked tirelessly with me on the car are my true champions and I guess I their's. For as we near the end I can see they are new people, more confident, and proud of what they have accomplished.

Ultimately its the quality of the human endeavour that is far more precious than even the very car we all worked on. That's life well lived for me !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Srinidhi View Post
A lot of people here have told how lucky you are to have the facility like that, access to the best workshop, having such wonderful boss, and so on. I would say how lucky the car is for having gotten a re-birth from you. Restoring a car like this is not an easy job and I feel the car is damn lucky for for having fallen in your hands...
Our workshop in Chennai is twice as big and has all the equipment and technicians you could ever desire for the project. The fact remains my boss chose Hyderabad. You obviously have figured out why

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Originally Posted by kutlee View Post
that's quite an effort. the interiors are really looking great. especially those chunky seats..
thanks, I agree the interior looks "hot". I am especially glad I pulled it off with such bold colours. It looks extremely rich and pleasing to the eye.

Last edited by DKG : 18th June 2010 at 23:00.
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Old 19th June 2010, 07:51   #55
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Dear DKG,

Congrats on the final outcome. Having visited you in Hyderabad and actually witnessing this restoration a few months back was very inspiring and had me dumb-struck for some time. I remember you showing me the new rubber components you had imported and that every piece of rubber on the car was new! The small new pieces of rubber on the door was an example of the passion in this restoration. Just amazing.

DKG, we are very fortunate to have you amongst us and I feel very proud of your achievement. Hope you can share many more such experiences with us going forward. May be the TVS Caddy in Madurai! Who knows

Cheers

KPS
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Old 19th June 2010, 09:27   #56
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The small new pieces of rubber on the door was an example of the passion in this restoration.
Glad you appreciate such minute details. Even the rubber inside the door lock catches is new

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I feel very proud of your achievement
That speaks volumes of you as a person KPS !! I too share such satisfaction and pride when I see owners across the country meticulously restoring or maintaining their cars. The fraternity of enthusiasts who go to great lengths and trouble to authentically restore their cars without a doubt do India proud as afterall the country considers this its national heritage.

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Hope you can share many more such experiences with us going forward. May be the TVS Caddy in Madurai! Who knows
My boss has already mentioned he would want that to happen !! I think once the car heads back to Chennai and more family members see the car they may just agree to doing up the Caddy too

I won't be surprised if a lot of his friends start pestering him to have their cars done up at TVS too

Last edited by DKG : 19th June 2010 at 09:29.
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Old 19th June 2010, 13:20   #57
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DKG Sir,

I am speechless. Havent seen or heard about restoration with such minute details. I seriously think that even GM (Chevy) people would feel proud after seeing the results.

Monetary support apart, it needs dedication to achieve this. Hats off to you and your team!!

Last edited by Jayant..B : 19th June 2010 at 13:24. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old 19th June 2010, 13:28   #58
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I think once the car heads back to Chennai and more family members see the car they may just agree to doing up the Caddy too

I won't be surprised if a lot of his friends start pestering him to have their cars done up at TVS too
What year and model is this caddy which you have mentioned ? I am sure they will start sending their cars to TVS for restoration after this.
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Old 19th June 2010, 13:37   #59
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Great choice on the interiors, in a planning stage I would never have dared try it but here it suits the car perfectly
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Old 19th June 2010, 13:38   #60
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Our workshop in Chennai is twice as big and has all the equipment and technicians you could ever desire for the project. The fact remains my boss chose Hyderabad. You obviously have figured out why
Yes ofcourse, there are more regular cars requiring attention in Chennai

Size of premises and availabilty of equipment is not the criteria. The man behind the work is. 5 Star workshops have ruined cars, semi-roadside fellows have restored very well. Ultimately, it is the person in charge who matters, he has to guide the workers, find correct materials and see that it all comes together. In a band, the conductor is important, not the violinist whose name you would rarely hear, here the conductor was DKG. And qualification does not matter, passion, common sense matter with a little bit of qualification. Experience is helpful.
At the end, can we have two pics, with the hood up and another with the hood down.

Cheers harit
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